What are the Different Options for After School Daycare?

Sheri Cyprus

While the number of options for after school daycare vary depending on one's location, there are usually at least several choices. These may include both licensed and unlicensed home daycare options as well as an after school program in the community. Some community businesses geared toward children, such as gymnastics or other sports programs as well as music lesson companies, may also offer after school daycare based classes.

Some children attend a daycare after the school day has finished.
Some children attend a daycare after the school day has finished.

Whether it's a local gymnastics business or one that teaches martial arts or piano, it may have a company van for picking up children registered in their after school classes from local schools. These programs not only offer extra curriculum for kids, but also provide supervision until the parents pick up the children in the late afternoon or early evening. After school snacks and time to do homework may be included before the classes begin. This kind of after school care can be a good way for kids to learn an extra skill, if they're interested in the subject.

Daycares may give children the chance to work on homework.
Daycares may give children the chance to work on homework.

A community may have an after school daycare program for kids that is located on or near the school grounds. For instance, there could be a portable trailer for arts and crafts, while qualified daycare staff supervise play on the school grounds. There may also be sports games or practice activities included in the school gymnasium, such as playing basketball or volleyball. School-based daycare programs may be free for low-income families in some areas.

Another type of after school daycare option is licensed or unlicensed home care. Typically, a parent with children who attend a local school may also have a licensed daycare business, which means being permitted by the government to operate within certain guidelines. These daycares must follow many rules, such as the ratio of children per age group to the number of qualified caregivers.

Often, a parent enrolls school-aged children up to age 12 in before and after school licensed daycare. The licensed daycare provider is responsible for looking after the child after the parent drops off in the morning until he or she picks up in late afternoon or early evening. The daycare owner, or one of her qualified workers, takes the child to school in the morning and back to the home daycare in the afternoon.

Unlicensed daycares are more casual in that a parent who has children who also attend that school can look after another parent's child or children. This type of after school daycare is not licensed by the government. While this option is usually less expensive than licensed daycare, there often isn't the same focus given to structured sports and crafts activities.

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